Study Plan: Beyond The Basics!

Study Plan: Beyond The Basics!

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Learning chess can seem like an easy activity. However, you can find yourself lost among all the teaching materials. So as this situation does not happen, we have prepared you a structured list of steps to improve your level.

Target Skill Range: Total Beginner (Rated 0-1000)


  1. Review the rules.
  2. Play two live games.
  3. Do three puzzles.
  4. Start a turn-based daily game.
  5. Do the daily puzzle.
  6. Try three drills.
  7. Take the quiz!

Knowing how the pieces move is just the beginning of chess - there is so much more! You should really take your time to master the material in this lesson. It's the foundation of all of your future chess learning! 

1. Review the rules

First, make sure you are absolutely clear on the rules of chess:

How to Play Chess

Don't know where to start? See below please:

2. Play two live games

Play your first two games in live chess (suggested time: 15 minutes per side) -> Play Live Chess

Live Chess

On the live chess platform, you will be able to play chess and also watch the games from top-tournaments.

Now go to your game archive and click on one of the games that you just played. Use the arrows below the move list to play over your game. You don't need to do anything special as you play through the game, just look at the moves. 

You should play as many games as you can enjoy each day. Playing games regularly helps you improve and gives you a place to practice the things you study. Reference your live chess home page regularly to review your games, eventually searching for mistakes made in an effort to improve upon them in future games.

3. Do three puzzles

Go to Puzzles, and click "Start". It's that simple! Do three problems to start. Every time you get a problem wrong, click on "Solution." Let the computer play through the correct moves for you, and try to understand why they are good. Next, click on "Analysis Board" and try to recreate the solution by moving the pieces. Finally, return to the starting position and, in your head, try to imagine the solution by moving the pieces with your eyes only. This is what you should do after every incorrect puzzle--> Start Puzzles

You should do puzzles every day! Improving your tactical vision is the fastest way for you to improve your chess. Don't get caught up trying to memorize openings—practice your tactics!

4. Start a turn-based daily game

Daily "turn-based" chess is derived from what used to be called correspondence chess, but now instead of sending postcards—possibly spending 20 years playing a game—you play on our server and spend just a few days, weeks, or months playing a game! -> Start a Daily Chess Game

Top Daily Chess Games

There are thousands of daily chess games being played on every day! Go to Daily Chess and start a new game with 3 days per move. Familiarize yourself a bit with different settings and time controls and make your first move!

Play as many daily chess games as you like. It only takes a few minutes a day to make your moves! Best of all, you can invite a friend to play!

Helpful hints:

  • Be polite in all the games you play.
  • Out of respect for your opponent's time and effort spent on the game, try not to ever lose on time (complete all games you start).
  • When you lose a game, thank your opponent for the game, and see if they will talk with you and give you any advice or thoughts about the game. 

5. Do the daily puzzle

Try to solve today's Daily Puzzle. Click on the top one, which will be the current day's puzzle. Click once to start, and then try to solve it by moving the pieces on the board. You can click solution if you can't solve it (the daily puzzle can often be pretty difficult), and then you can talk about it in the forum below.

Daily Chess Puzzle

You should come back each day and try the daily puzzle. It gets harder as the week goes on. Feel free to ask in the forums if you need help understanding it!

6. Try three practice positions

Make your way over to drills. At the top of the list are practice positions available to all members. As beginners, you should try the top four positions first. Today we will start with the queen checkmate!

Your main goal on the first go is to get comfortable using this tool. The goal of computer workout is to help you get better at playing certain key positions by practicing them repeatedly (note the restart button).

Chess Drills

Choose a category and start mastering the different drills and exercises.

Test your new skills.

Question 1: Which piece is the most "important" in chess?

Question 2: What piece does FM Todd Andrews suggest the "Queen must first capture to utilize her diagonal movement" at the thirteen-minute mark of his Play Chess Today! Part 1 video?

Question 3: According to this study plan, what is the fastest way to get better at chess at the beginner level?

Question 4: What does this study plan say a chess player should "eventually" try to do when reviewing their games on their live chess home page?

Question 5: What "minor" piece does FM Todd Andrews review last in his Play Chess Today! Part 2 video?


  1. The queen!
  2. The bishop on g7
  3. Using Tactics Trainer to "improve your tactical vision"
  4. "search for mistakes in an effort to improve upon them in future games"
  5. Knight
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